As I write this I can hear a steady rain hitting the pavement outside my kitchen window. The rain is supposed to taper off this afternoon, but expect some wet conditions today at Qwest Field.
With that in mind, here are my five keys to the game for the Seahawks as they host San Diego.
Run Forsett, run: He’s carried the ball 15 times so far this season for 87 yards and 5.8 yards per carry average. Maybe the Seahawks will ditch this running back by committee approach and actually hand the ball off to Forsett 15 times today and see what he can do. In wet conditions like this and with the way Matt Hasselbeck played last week, the Seahawks could do worse than lean on the running game today.
Check the ball down, Matt: We know that head coach Pete Carroll's top priority is taking care of the ball, but quarterback Matt Hasselbeck still hasn’t got the memo yet. Hasselbeck, who turned 35 on Saturday, has said all the right things this week about being responsible with the ball, particularly in the red zone. But let’s see him let his play do the talking with some check downs against an opportunistic defense that created seven turnovers last week against Jacksonville.
Get some pressure: Offensive tackle Marcus McNeill signed his tender on Saturday, but he will not play today. That means Seattle will see backup Brandyn Dombrowski at left tackle. He’s performed well in McNeill’s absence, but he is not a Pro Bowler. Should be a good time for defensive end Chris Clemons to get his first sack.
Create some turnovers: The Seahawks turned the ball over four times last week, but lost in that discussion was the Hawks did not force any turnovers. Seattle needs to steal a couple possessions from San Diego today to have a chance against Philip Rivers and that potent offense.
A special day from Golden: The Seahawks could use some more big plays on special teams, so Golden Tate and Leon Washington will play a key role today. If they can make some big plays on returns, that will only help take some pressure off of Seattle’s offense.
My story today focuses on San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers and how the Seahawks will try and stop him.
Dave Boling of The News Tribune profiles punter Jon Ryan and his tribute to his father, Bob Ryan, who recently passed after battling cancer.
Greg Johns of Seattlepi.com offers five things to watch for in today’s Hawks-Chargers matchup.
We’ve heard it before, but Carroll continues to emphasize taking care of the ball, according to Clare Farnsworth at Seahawks.com
John Boyle of the Everett Herald says veteran safety Lawyer Milloy is playing role of big brother to the younger players in Seattle’s defensive backfield.
Dan Arkush of Pro Football Weekly writes that quarterback Matt Hasselbeck has a longer leash than you think.
San Diego Chargers
Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union Tribune says the Chargers will continue to spread the ball around offensively.
Scott Bair of the North County Times reports that the Chargers will be ready for the rain and the crowd noise this morning.
San Francisco 49ers
Kevin Lynch at Niners Insider previews the San Francisco-Kansas City matchup.
David White of the San Francisco Chronicle says the Niners are not in a must-win situation today because they play in the NFC West.
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee profiles rookie offensive tackle Anthony Davis, who has quickly made the adjustment to playing in the NFL.
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic reports that Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt says his team needs a more efficient performance at home against Oakland.
More Somers: The game will feature one of the better one-on-one battles this weekend, with receiver Larry Fitzgerald matching up against Oakland Nnamdi Asomugha.
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com writes that the Cardinals are looking to take advantage of being at home today when they host Oakland.
St. Louis Rams
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that while teams like Kansas City and Tampa Bay have opened with 2-0 records, the Rams are still struggling.